Our Guide to Japandi Decor on a Budget
What is Japandi?
Japandi is a fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese interior design traditions that aims to incorporate the functionality and serenity of both cultures. Japanese and Scandinavian design are two of the great minimalist traditions in interior decorating, so with the trend for modern minimalism, it’s no surprise that Japandi is hugely popular. Because of its minimalism, Japandi can also be accomplished beautifully on a budget. Our guide to Japandi on a budget will help.
Japan’s tradition of minimalism began with the wabi-sabi philosophy, which developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in reaction to over-ornamentation in Japan’s medieval culture. Wabi-sabi has its roots in Buddhist philosophy, which emphasizes that humanity’s failure to accept impermanence and suffering causes unhappiness. In turn, wabi-sabi focuses on themes of asymmetry, roughness, and simplicity, which remind us that perfection is not possible in many cases.
Wabi-sabi has influenced Japanese art and culture ever since, providing inspiration and context for traditional Japanese arts like flower arrangement and bonsai cultivation.
Within interior design, Japanese minimalism stems from the Buddhist insight that clutter springs from the desire to sweep away or cover up suffering and imperfection with physical items. By truly focusing on function and allowing for imperfect design, the Japanese take on minimalism urges us to accept suffering in our lives so that we can begin to transcend it.
Japanese minimalist interior decor tends toward simplicity. Wall decor and prints often depict everyday scenes and natural scenes, using bold shapes and silhouettes.Paintings seek to cut to the essential elements of the scenes they depict, with less emphasis on intricacy and detail. Mood can range from haunting or even eerie to cheerful and comforting.
Scandinavian design comes to its minimalism through a concept called hygge. Hygge is associated with coziness and the feeling of being together with good company. Scandinavian cultures are heavily egalitarian, and hygge reflects this: it is often described as a “form of everyday togetherness” and is a feeling and style in which every member of society can participate.
Like Japanese interior design, Scandinavian decor tends toward minimalism. Unlike Japanese minimalism though, Hygge focuses less on appreciation of the imperfect, and tends toward a more celebratory tone, though similar to Japanese minimalism it focuses on everyday life and natural themes. Paintings and prints tend to be more colorful, in line with the celebratory mood. Deer silhouettes are a common theme, as well as colorful abstract and geometric art.
Looking to get started with Japandi decor without breaking the bank? We have several collections that provide an excellent jumping off point.
A collection of striking, minimalist prints, Silhouettes use austere dark grays and off whites, and broad brush strokes to capture the natural beauty of animals in motion. Influenced by both the Scandi emphasis on animal silhouettes, and the wabi-sabi tendency toward shades of gray, Silhouettes are a versatile addition to any Japandi room.
Gardening and garden-based themes are prevalent in wabi-sabi going back to the 15th century. Botany is a collection of prints in the style of artists Kawai Gyokudo and Kono Bairei, depicting a variety of trees, gardens and leaves, from the beautiful Japanese maple and cherry blossoms, to more everyday prints of fallen leaves.
Nature is a crucial theme in hygge and Scandinavian decor more broadly, with scenes tending to be pristine and uplifting. As with most of Japandi decor, Natural Shapes sticks to a minimalist aesthetic, with circles, triangles, and zigzags coming together to depict stunning landscapes in a cozy way.